It wasn't long until Ivy showed up back at the Traytor household, tears staining her face.
"H-he's left me." She sobbed.
"Ivy I'm so sorry." Iris said, comforting her sister and eyeing her huge pile of suitcases on the lawn behind her.
"So you're back home to stay?" She asked.
"Uh huh." Ivy nodded through her sobs, "It's OK isn't it? Oh Iris please say i can come home."
"Of course you can." Iris replied hugging her tightly, "What happened?"
"I was right about the affair." She confessed, "He told me that he wants a divorce, apparently he's in love with her."
"I'm sorry." Iris repeated, although she was sad to find Ivy so distraught she couldn't help but wonder if it was for the best.
With Ivy back in the family fold Finn and Charlie decided to drop a bombshell on Iris.
"We've got some news for you honey." Finn started, "Your Mom and i have just sealed the deal on our new home!"
"Your what!" She cried, "You're moving? But why?"
"You remember our vacation in Champs Le Sims?" Charlie replied, "Well we've bought a little cottage on the outskirts of the town."
"France! You're moving out of the country!" Iris clarified.
"It's just a summer home sweetheart." Finn soothed sensing his daughters dismay, "We'll spend half the year here and the other half there, we wouldn't want to miss out on seeing our grandchildren grow up." He chuckled.
"When are you leaving?" She asked trying not to pout and failing miserably.
"This weekend." Finn admitted, "But you have Ivy home now and Cody will be back in a couple of months. Iris you'll be fine." He told her.
"I guess." Iris mumbled, not really believing her own words.
She was happy for her parents but she had relied on them both so much especially with the children and she had no idea how she was going to cope running the bar and being a full time Mom.
After a few weeks of Ivy being back home it became clear to Iris that she wasn't going to be much help.
She spent most of her days drinking and staring wistfully out at the view of Bridgeport she once loved so much. Bobby had filed for divorce and news of the split had reached the media, although it had not caused the stir which Ivy had feared.
Since her show had been cancelled her celebrity status was waning and people weren't that interested in reading or seeing anything of Ivy at all.
Iris arrived home from the park with Joshua and Kaya to find Ivy passed out on the couch for the fourth time that week and she resolved to help her twin out of this slump.
Putting the kids down for an afternoon nap, Iris crept into Ivy's room and removed her cell phone from the bedside drawer. Scrolling through her list of contacts she tried to recall the name of her agent but as she perused the roll call of names she stopped at one particular number and on impulse hit call.
"Hello?" She asked, "Yes, you don't know me but my sister is Ivy Traytor and, well she could really use your help."
"Ivy you have a visitor!" Iris called up the stairs to her the following day.
Her phone call had been a success and had produced a more than willing partner in the quest to rescue Ivy from her depression in the shape of Maxwell Cross, Ivy's one time screen partner on Bridgeport Nights.
Since he had left the show, Maxwell had gone on to star in the latest blockbuster about to hit the movie screens that summer and was a current tabloid darling who could do no wrong. Iris figured if anyone could help revive Ivy's career Maxwell could.
Ivy dragged her hungover body out of bed and threw on her mothers old dressing gown, taking a cursory look in the mirror she noted her mascara smeared eyes but figured what the hell, it couldn't be anyone important anyway, probably just Bobby come to persuade her to sign the divorce papers again.
But as she walked into the kitchen she saw a familiar face, "Iris what on Earth is he doing here?" She demanded, tightening the gown around her waist feeling suddenly more exposed than she would of liked.
"Aw come on Trix don't be like that, i happen to love your new look." Maxwell grinned.
"I don't know what you are doing here Maxwell but i suggest you turn around and leave." Ivy fumed, "And do not call me Trix! In case you hadn't heard Bridgeport Nights was cancelled thanks to you so i no longer get to play the part of Trixie Firecracker."
"Well you'll always be Trix to me." he replied, "Come on, your not really mad at me are you?" He asked, whipping off his shades and fixing her with his puppy dog eyes.
"Oh don't pull that crap with me Maxwell, I'm not one of your love sick tweeny fans." She retorted, "Thanks to you quitting the show my career is on the scrap heap, i couldn't get photographed by the paps if i ran around naked."
"Well I'd sure take a look at that." he winked.
"Knock it off Max, it's not a joke." she whined.
"Look I'm sorry about the show, i genuinely am but you know how it goes Trix, I got a better offer."
"So why are you here?" Ivy asked.
"I got this tragic call from your sister telling me how melodramatic you were being so i figured I'd fly in and take you out, that's if your husband will allow it?" He asked.
"You mean my soon to be ex-husband i assume." Ivy dead panned.
"Well then it looks as if i got here right on time."
Ivy sighed, Maxwell could be a little smarmy but underneath it all she knew he was a decent guy and he had flown in especially to take her out.
What's a girl to do? She told him to sit tight while she threw a little something on.
Seeing Maxwell's eyes go out on stalks told her that she looked amazing, definitely worth a few snaps for the tabloids to print anyway.
"So are we gonna hit the town or are you just gonna gawp at me all night?" She asked.
"Your limo awaits Trix." Maxwell said holding the door open for her.
Iris watched their little scene play out from the kitchen and grinned to herself.
Ivy had never mentioned that she was into Maxwell she had always protested that he was a diva, but seeing how she acted around him made it clear to Iris.
Ivy had feelings for Maxwell whether she was ready to admit it to herself was another thing entirely.
Ivy and Maxwell's night on the town had caused a brief stir and their faces were plastered over the front covers, most suggesting that it was Ivy who had cheated on Bobby with Maxwell.
Although her profile raised slightly there still were no job offers on the table and Maxwell had, had to leave to promote his new movie leaving Ivy still in her rut.
Iris's concern for her sister grew however she also had worries of her own occupying her mind.
Although Alex had not approached her again Iris knew that she was just biding her time until Cody returned home, quite what she would do then was anybodies guess.
The weight of this worry plagued her more than she cared to admit over the next few months but before she had time to share her concern with anyone else, it was time for Cody to return home.
"Hey baby." He said, pulling Iris close to him, "You miss me?"
"You know it." She replied before kissing him passionately.
"Daddy!" Joshua called, seeing his father and running towards him.
"Look at you, walking all by yourself!" Cody exclaimed picking up his son and swinging him around, "How did you get so big huh?"
"Daddy I'm a big boy now!" Joshua admonished him.
"So much has happened since you've been gone." Iris told him.
"I want to catch up, but first i want to hold Kaya." Cody replied, smiling at the prospect.
Iris watched on as Cody picked up their youngest and fed her a morning bottle.
"She's grown so much!" He said, shaking his head at the months he had missed.
"Not long now until you're home for good." Iris reminded him.
"I was thinking that maybe we should wait until i am home before having the wedding, i think it would make a great home coming celebration. What do you think?"
"Sounds perfect." Iris agreed.
After making Cody's favourite lunch Iris filled him in on the Ivy situation and then broached the subject of Alex and her thinly veiled threats.
"She said she was going to remind you of what you were missing Cody, I'm worried what she might mean." Iris revealed.
"Alex can be highly strung but I'm certain she didn't mean it as a threat." He replied.
"You weren't there Cody, the things she said about me and about the kids." Iris said feeling angry that he hadn't taken her seriously.
"Iris I'm not taking her side." He replied, "I will speak to her, I'm sure she feels bad about what she said."
"I'd rather you had nothing to do with her!" Iris cried, shocked at the strength of her feelings on the matter, "She wants to split us up Cody."
Cody sighed before continuing, "Iris, Alex is my oldest friend. When my Mom walked out on me and my Dad she was the only one there for me. When my Dad started drinking she was there for me, i won't turn my back on her now."
Iris folded her arms and looked away feeling the burning sting of tears prick her eyes.
"Iris, do you trust me?" Cody asked, noting her reaction.
"Of course, but i don't trust her!" She retorted.
"I would never hurt you or our family but you have to trust me to deal with this OK?"
Iris shrugged a reluctant agreement, but she was far from convinced that Cody was handling the situation properly.
With their built in baby sitters holed up in France, Cody and Iris had to alternate turns at the bar and that evening Cody had taken his turn eagerly.
Iris worried that Alex would confront him that night and had begged to call a baby sitter so she could come with him, but he reminded her that she could trust him and set off on his own.
Iris's fears were founded as Alex showed up that night to find Cody in his element, mixing up a new cocktail.
"Hey Alex!" Cody called, genuinely please to see his old friend.
"So you're finally back soldier boy." She teased.
"Tell me everything, i want to know all about your trip with Dalton." He pressed.
"You wouldn't need to ask me that if you'd showed up like we planned." She replied sulkily.
"Come on Alex, you know i couldn't leave Iris behind." He reminded her.
"You can't honestly tell me that you're happy with your life!" Alex cried, "I mean you're in the army Cody, all that regimented crap its not you!"
"Alex i had no choice OK, i have a son i had to support them both."
"You sold out Cody, you of all people. This whole surfing tour was your idea, you remember that!" She yelled, "When we were little and we sat up all night planning our lives, it was supposed to be us Cody!"
"We were just kids Alex." He pointed out.
"So what it meant nothing to you?" She exploded.
"Of course it meant something to me, but i grew up and things changed." He yelled back.
"They don't have to be like this, we can still go. Just get your board and we can leave tonight." She begged.
"My life is here with Iris and our kids." He said, speaking softly now, "I will never leave them Alex and you need to accept that the life we dreamed up all those years ago is never going to happen."
"So you're gonna marry her?" She snorted.
"Yes, i love Iris."
"She holds you back Cody, from what you could be, i would never do that to you." She coerced, "Come with me, be with me." She pleaded.
"I don't feel like that for you Alex, i never did." Cody said, trying to gently let her down.
But the look on Alex's face said it all and she turned and fled from the beach.
The months passed by quickly and Cody soon arrived home for good, his five years were served and he had been discharged from his duties.
As promised they decided to throw a wedding/welcome home party at the beach.
The guests were a little surprised by the dress code of beach wear but no one could deny that it suited Cody and Iris down to a tee.
As Joshua and their family looked on the happy couple made their vows as the peaceful sounds of the ocean lapping the shore accompanied them.
Cody and Iris were finally husband and wife and could settle into the life they had wanted for so long.
Cody quickly discovered the reality of full time family life, including the 3 a.m feeds of a screaming Kaya.
But he took to it like a duck to water and soon managed to calm Kaya's screaming fits down.
Iris watched the pair of them together, they were so alike. Kaya had certainly inherited her fathers looks while Joshua had hers.
Seeing the two of them together you would barely know they were related!
Iris woke up every morning and admired her beautiful wedding ring followed by her gorgeous sleeping husband.
She felt like the luckiest Sim alive, finally she had the family life she always wanted and if she wasn't mistaken they were about to be blessed for a third time!
The next month it was time to celebrate Josh's birthday and they were joined by a super special guest in the form of Maxwell Cross.
His promotional tour was finished and his movie had become a smash hit at the box office meaning that he could pretty much write his own ticket in Bridgeport.
Iris smiled watching the big super star clap and laugh along goofily as the family tunelessly sang happy birthday, she knew he would fit right in here if only Ivy would snap out of her depression and realise what she had right in front of her.
Iris was certain that Ivy's crush on Maxwell went both ways, why else would he happily don a party hat at a child's birthday?
As Joshua grew into a child the resemblance between him and Iris became even more evident and unfortunately he developed the loner trait.
Iris was worried for her eldest child, he had spent so long clinging to his father trying to make him stay home that he had never really tried to bond with any one else.
She was sure that this was where his newly developed trait stemmed from and could only hope that he would grow out of it now he was starting school.
Everyday Iris would wait for him to come home, hoping that today would be the day he would fetch a friend home. But it never was.
Not that Joshua seemed unhappy about it, on the contrary he looked as though he enjoyed his time in solitude, seeming more uncomfortable around others.
Everyone except for Cody that is, who was still Josh's hero. Iris decided to speak to Cody about their son's behaviour.
"You really think this is a problem?" Cody asked looking shocked, "He just seems like our little Josh to me."
"That's because he is around you." Iris replied, "When your not here he just sits on his own, I'm worried this could develop into a real issue."
"Leave it to me, i think i have an idea." Cody said smiling to himself.
Although he had claimed it as his own it had actually been Iris who had suggested that Cody should start giving surf lessons.
He figured it was a great way to boost business at the beach and hoped it would help Josh make some friends.
He had a pretty good turnout for his first lesson and the thrill of passing on his skills to not only his own boy but others too reignited Cody's passion for surfing.
As he looked up he spotted Alex over by the bar, instructing the boys to keep practising standing up on their boards and warning them not to go into the water he headed over to see what she wanted.
Alex had not been around since the day he told her that his feelings for her were only ever platonic.
He hadn't wanted to hurt her but he needed her to understand that he loved only Iris, he hoped that she had come to terms with this now and that they could move on as friends.
"I've come to say goodbye." Alex began, "I'm heading out to Australia, Dalton's surfing at Bells beach so he said i can come crash with him."
"I'll miss you." Cody told her.
"You don't have to miss me Cody, you can come too." She said quietly, "Dalton said you'll love it out there."
"You know my answer already." Cody said, regret tinging his voice that she still had not got the message.
"So this is goodbye then?" She said sadly.
"Goodbye Alex." Cody said pulling his oldest friend into a hug.
Neither of them noticed Joshua approach them, and neither did they see the look of confusion on his face as he registered his father hugging another woman in a way he had only ever seen him hug his mother.
Josh turned and ran back to the group of boys, grabbing the mini surf board they had been practising on he headed into the sea and paddled as far out as he could.
His head swam with visions of his Dad with that blond woman, the way she had looked when he hugged her was the way he had seen his Mom look, all gooey and lovey dovey!
He thought his Dad had brought him to the beach to learn to surf but now he realised it was just some lie so he could be with that woman.
Josh couldn't believe that he had ever listened to his Dad, all those times he had left him behind telling him to be good, well Josh had been good and he thought that when his Dad finally came home to stay they could have a proper relationship, but everything now seemed fake.
Hearing the other boys yelling Cody raced over to the training area, he did a quick head count and realised that one boy was missing.
"It's Josh!" He gasped.
"He's gone out into the sea!" Another boy claimed, pointing out to the water.
Cody looked to see Joshua far out at the surf line, "He's caught in the riptide!" He said.
"Call the life guard!" He yelled to Alex.
"Wait!" She called, "You can't go out there it's not safe!"
But Cody was already in the water, "Hold on Josh I'm coming!" He yelled.